The Indus Valley Project

The Indus Valley project is a proposed museum building in Dholavira, India, which is one of the largest Indus valley (Harappan) civilization sites in the world. The Indus Valley civilization was a Bronze Age civilization (3300-1300 BCE), in the northwestern regions of the Indian subcontinent. Along with Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, it is one of three early cradles of civilization of the Old World, and of the three, the most widespread. The excavated site of Dholavira demonstrates the ingenuity of Harappan people to evolve a highly organized system of town planning with perfected proportions, interrelation of functional areas, street-pattern and an efficient water conservation system that supported life for more than 1200 years (3000 BCE to 1800 BCE) against harsh hot arid climate. The establishment of the museum and research wing will help conserve this site and showcase the historical importance of this civilization.

With its acropolis or citadel within the fortified area Dholavira remains the most expansive example of the Harappan town-planning system, with a three-tier zoning, comprising of a distinct upper (citadel, bailey) and middle (having a distinct street-pattern, large scale enclosure and a ceremonial ground) towns enclosed by a lower town (with narrower streets, smaller enclosures and industrial area).

The building, located near the entrance of the lower town, is designed as a fortress, using thick load bearing brick walls, deriving this attribute from the excavated city. The visual focus of the design is the ruined city itself, with framed views of the ruined city from the museum building. These axes frame two views of the site, of the castle and of the arterial streets of the lower town. The axes divide the building into its three programs, research, public and the museum wing.

The museum exhibits are divided into four separate areas, each showcasing artifact from the four major eras of the civilization. The research wing is used to study, preserve and store the artifacts, that are excavated from the site. The public wing has the library, a small handicrafts factory, café and an outdoor Amphitheatre. A light weight double roof protects the building from the extreme heat. The narrow alleys with the overhanging roofs, create a shaded area for experiencing the building from the outside. The thick walls also help to insulate the building against the heat, with a indoor-outdoor temperature difference of up to, 6 degrees. The building lies in a high earthquake zone, for this a custom horizontal reinforcement is designed at 1 m c/c, to hold the walls together during earthquakes.